Impulsive Behavior

To live a life without complications, you need a certain level of control over your behaviour. This means avoiding activities that are dangerous like binge-drinking, drug abuse, illicit gambling, theft, and violence.

While some of these behaviours may seem pleasurable or exhilarating,engaging in them will eventually cause you harm – physically, socially orpsychologically. You could fall into a state of bankruptcy, lose your marriage, get fired – or worse still – incarcerated.

ImpulsiveBehaviour Explained

Impulse is an uncontrollable urge to do something. Impulsive behaviour can be defined as a habitual attitude of acting in a fast, careless and rash manner, which can be influenced by certain internal or external factors. When you’re impulsive, your analytical judgment will be flawed; as such, you act without regard for the consequences.

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The Stages of Impulsive Behaviour

  • The impulse surfaces
  • Inner tension increases
  • Impulsive action and pleasure
  • Relief after pleasure
  • Guilt and regret

However, not every one who is impulsive experiences all stages every time they give in to their impulsivity, including guilt and regret. Some individuals will actually feel relieved after an impulsive episode. Others will try repeatedly to stop, with no actual result. The difficulties associated with curtailing such behaviour are similar to those of drug addiction. This begs the question: How is impulsive behaviour related to addiction?

Impulsive Behaviour, Addiction and the Brain

Some studies revealed that individuals whoexhibit impulsive behaviours share similar traits with drug abusers or addicts. Studies by Biochemical Pharmacologistssuggest that there is a link between impulsive behaviour, addiction and the creation of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that controls sensations of pleasure and euphoria inside the brain). Low levels of dopaminecan lead to an increase in high-risk behaviour, such as illicit gambling, drug abuse, and drunkenness. Other chemicals that affect pleasure and satisfaction – including serotonin and GABA -can also influence impulsivity.

Dangers of Impulsive Behaviour

Impulsive behaviour can have an adverse effect on the quality of your life. Problems resulting from adrenaline-seeking, including risky behavior relating to drugs and various cocktails, can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. Recurrent violent outbursts, theft and other criminal tendencies may result in a host of personal and legal problems. Because of the relationship between drug abuse and impulsive behaviour, people susceptible tothis condition are vulnerable to the medical risks of addiction including:

  • Heart attack
  • Lung disease
  • Liver disease
  • Stroke
  • Certain forms of cancer
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
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Treatment Options for Impulsive Behaviour

Medication-Based Treatment

Doctors can prescribe medications to confront your impulse-related condition. They can help your brain and body produce the right amount of necessary chemicals for optimal quality of life:

  • Antidepressants
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Opioid antagonists

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This is a form of psychotherapy that can help you understand the causes of your problematic, often dysfunctional behaviour. It can also help you develop new strategies to improve the way you think and act.

Family Therapy

The family wields great power and can influence the actions of the members within. Help rendered by your family will improve your thinking and decision-making abilities. Moreover, these sessions will help you understand how your addiction affected those you love.

Mutual Self-Help Groups

Self-help or support groups for impulsive behaviour control operate in virtually the same way as those for recovering drug addicts. Under the supervision of a proficient counsellor, these groups can help you take better control of your life. It is possible to explain your issue and get needed understanding from a local addiction group, too. You are not alone, and non-judgmental help is available.

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Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.